The City Council recently adopted an ordinance that raises the yearly street performers permit fee from $20 to $50. Permits must be displayed while the performer is on the boardwalk.
“You listened to performers and took it in,” said Toms River-based magician Robert Francis, a frequent performer on the boardwalk.
Francis and other performers attended previous council meeting to urge to council not to make fees or restrictions too severe.
“You have been more than fair and did a good job supporting street performers,” he said.
Francis said that much of his annual living expenses are paid for by money he makes on the Asbury Park boardwalk during the summer.
Under the revised ordinance, street performers may not be allowed to remain in the same location for more than three hours. At the conclusion of the three hours, a police officer can request that the performer move to another location that is a minimum of 100 feet from the previous location.
Resident Werner Baumgartner said that he believes the 100 feet limit may not be enough distance to be effective.
Deputy Mayor Amy Quinn said that the ordinance has been discussed at “great length” and can be considered a “pilot program.”
She said it can be changed or amended, as needed, and new measures could be put in place next summer.
“It can be changed,” she said.
Street performers are allowed to perform their acts between 9 a.m. and 10 p.m. but are prohibited from the boardwalk during July 4 weekends or other days, as designated by the council, due to a high volume of traffic on the boardwalk.
If a performer wants to sell any merchandise, they must obtain a mercantile license from the city. Street performers must also meet standards that protect the safety of the public, such as not having flammable liquids or knives in their acts.
Mayor John Moor suggested street performers inform their fellow street performers about the new regulations.
“Help us get the word out so we can make this work,” he said.